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Bob Gruen is one of the most well-known and respected photographers in rock and roll. From John Lennon to Johnny Rotten, Muddy Waters to the Rolling Stones, Elvis to Madonna, Bob Dylan to Bob Marley, Tina Turner to Debbie Harry, he has chronicled the music scene for over 40 years in photographs that have gained worldwide recognition.
But on September 11, 2001, his camera captured some very different images. Here, in words and pictures, Bob shares his memories from 20 years ago of the World Trade Center and 9/11.
I would see the Twin Towers when I walked out of my home and often took pictures of them reflecting the light and looking different every day. I’ve put some of my favorite photos of the World Trade Center on the left side and my pictures from 9/11 on the right.
I was going to get my car tuned in New Jersey and saw one of the World Trade Center’s towers on fire. I pulled off the road into Liberty State Park, sat on a bench there and then saw a plane fly low over the harbor and crash into the other tower. It was the worst thing I have ever seen. It broke the fabric of reality and has changed the way we live. Since then I’ve been thinking of the words of Winston Churchill, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” I think we must go forward and not let them stop us. We must tell our leaders to work for peace on Earth.
Photos and Words by Bob Gruen. bobgruen.com